Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Armpit of California

There's a lot I could write about. We've been in Fresno for almost two weeks now. A few things about Fresno that I'm excited about:

-Today I made $1.81 taking my boxes and other recyclable materials to one of the local recycling plants. I'm happy to have discovered that Fresno is a very recycle-friendly town. There are places everywhere that recycle everything from the usual bottles and newspaper to metal, wood, and just about anything you can think of.

-Farmer's Markets and fresh fruits and vegetables. Today I learned that if we tried a bit, we could basically buy all of our food (except coffee) from within 200 miles or so, meaning it's very easy to buy locally. We are right in the middle of a beautiful fruit region, especially oranges and peaches, as well as a variety of other items such as raisins, nuts, and rice.

-It's warm here. It's been about 100 degrees every day since we've been here. Granted, that's very hot, but it also means the sun is out a lot, which makes me happy. Plus, we have a pool right outside our apartment unit.

-This town is bike friendly. Michael has been riding his bike to work, and there seem to be decent bike lanes and bike trails.

-Almost every gas station in town offers cheaper gas if you pay cash. This is one more incentive for us to continue our Dave Ramsey-style budget and finances by living on our budgeted cash each month.

-Fresno has been called the "armpit of California," and partly this is because of how close we are to so many things (but also because an armpit usually stinks, and a lot of people could write a list of reasons they don't like Fresno.) We are within an hour or two of the mountains and Yosemite National Park. We are only a couple hours to the beach. We are less than four hours to Disneyland.

-We are in a very multi-cultural area. There are a lot of Africans, Mexicans and other Hispanics, as well as people from a lot of other countries. This means on a daily basis we get to interact with people from all over the world. It also means there is a variety of ethnic restaurants to choose from. We've already eaten at an Ethiopian restaurant and a Lebanese restaurant. We can see how the Lord has used our time in Africa to prepare us for being here. Now that we've been to Africa we can better understand African culture and thus African ways of thinking and working, which helps us empathize and have patience that we might not otherwise have or understand.

-We are happy to have found a decent apartment and a place to call home. We've met some great people already, and have a lot of peace about being here. We are still getting used to the heat, and to the layout of the city, but Fresno is already beginning to feel like home.

1 comment:

Mikhal Rebekah said...

so i'm a bit behind on reading the news, but i'm SO glad to hear about all these things you like about your new home, and Melissa that you found a job you're excited about! i pray that even as you settle into a rhythm, the smiles stay large. also, yay for no meat!! way to go!

lastly Michael, so impressed that after all this time i received comments on my applied research paper, seemingly at your prompting =). that is some persistence. i had completely forgotten.

would love to hear an update on how you each are liking your new jobs when you have time!